What is the Washington State Bird?

Willow Goldfinch is the state bird of Washington. Washington titled the Willow goldfinch as its official state bird of Washingtonin 1951. Willow Goldfinch is also known as American goldfinch. It is also called wild canary. The Willow goldfinch is found all over Iowa. It often stays through the winter. The diet of the Willow Goldfinch consists especially seeds (sunflowers, thistle, and asters), grasses and trees. The male Willow goldfinch has a bright yellow build with black wings and black tail. It also has black on top of his head. The female goldfinch’s feathers are more low-key with an olive-yellow physique and dark brown tail and dark brown wings. In the winter months, the male goldfinch also shows this same dismal feathers.

State Bird of Washington Facts —

Common name:  Willow Goldfinch or American goldfinch
Scientific name:  Carduelistristis
Habitat:  Weedy fields and floodplains, open meadow areas, orchards, cultivated areas
Diet:  especially seeds (sunflowers, thistle, asters), grasses and trees
Song and Calls:  most common contact call sounds like po-ta-to-chip
Weight:  11-20 g
Length:  11-13 cm
Wingspan:  19-22 cm
Average lifespan:  up to 10 years
Incubation period:  12-14 days

Washington’s state bird,the goldfinch’s main likely habitats are weedy fields and floodplains, where plants such as thistles and asters are common. They are also found in cultivated areas, roadsides, orchards, and backyards. American Goldfinches can be found at feeders any time of year, but most plentifully during winter.American Goldfinches are the only finch that molts its body feathers two times a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. The shining yellow color of the male goldfinches each spring is one welcome mark of approaching warm months. American Goldfinches breed later than most of the North American birds.

They wait to nest until June or July when milkweed, thistle, and other plantshave produced their gristly seeds, which goldfinches incorporate into their nests and also feed their young.Goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, selecting a completely vegetable diet and only inadvertently swallowing an occasional insect.When Brown-headed Cowbirds lay eggs in an American Goldfinch nest, the cowbird egg may hatch but the nestling hardly ever survives longer than three days. The cowbird chick simply can’t survive on the all-seed diet that goldfinches feed their young.

American Goldfinches are energetic, acrobatic finches that balance on the seedheads of thistles, dandelions, and other plants to pluck seeds. They have a bouncy flight during which they frequently make their po-ta-to-chip calls. Although males sing raucously during spring, pairs do not nest until mid-summer, when thistles and other weeds have gone to seed. Goldfinches do not join other songbirds mobbing predators.Goldfinches move about south in winter following a pattern that seems to coincide with regions where the minimum January temperature is no colder than zero degrees Fahrenheit on average.Paired-up goldfinches make virtually identical flight calls; goldfinches may be able to distinguish members of various pairs by these calls.

The oldest known American Goldfinch was 10 years 9 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in Maryland.American Goldfinches are monogamous and breed later in the summer than most other North American birds. They will wait to nest and breed until between late May and August. During the non-breeding season goldfinches will flock together, and their flocks can fly in a rising and falling pattern, which can look like a giant undulating wave of birds in the sky.

The law designating the willow goldfinch as the official Washington state bird is SECTION 1.20.040 (State bird) of the Revised Code of Washington, Title 1 (RCW GENERAL PROVISIONS) Chapter 20 (RWC GENERAL PROVISIONS) Section 1.20.040 (State bird).

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